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Dance-Hall Reggae Artist Nicodemus At Big Dipper Tuesday

Let’s face it.

Good reggae shows don’t come to Spokane very often.

Fortunately, the Big Dipper has one booked for Tuesday.

Nicodemus, a veteran dance-hall reggae singer from Kingston, Jamaica, will make a rare appearance in Washington.

In dance-hall reggae, few singers/toasters (the reggae equivalent of a rapper) are as notable as Nicodemus. In fact, he was one of the original artists who helped shape the derivative.

First, before we go any further, let’s go through a little background of dance-hall reggae.

Dance-hall style reggae music is exactly what it sounds like, a more danceable blend of reggae, propelled by a pulsating bass line and either a singer or a toaster (rapper) or both. Dancehall is less organic than roots reggae. Singers/toaster are usually backed by a sound system instead of a band.

In Jamaica, dance-hall is more popular with young audiences than roots reggae (Bob Marley is considered a roots reggae artist).

What many American listeners don’t know is that dance-hall reggae is as largely responsible for shaping hip hop and rap music as jazz, funk and rhythm and blues are. In fact, critics often call dance-hall singers/toasters Jamaican hip hop artists.

Nicodemus has been in the business for 25 years.

In this country he’s not a household name. In his native land, however, Nicodemus has been crowned dance-hall king.

Over the years, the reggae performer has influenced a number of artists like Super Cat, Yellowman, Barrington Levy, Chaka Demus and Ini Kamoze.

Super Cat, one of the world’s premier dance-hall toasters, included his mentor on his last album “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Crazy” last year.

Nicodemus just released his eighth album called “Dancehall Giant.” The album’s 10 songs delve into various worldy genres such as banghra, hip hop, jazz and other soul rhythms.

Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4. Bring ID.

Elsewhere in the night

Punkers Not My Son and Red Hush, along with folk rocker Hilborne play the Big Dipper on Saturday. Music at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4. On Wednesday, L.A. veteran punk band Dirt Clod Fight will be at the club along with Fatty Lumpkin. Cover’s $3.

Thursday Portland acoustic groove rockers Higher Ground take the stage. The band, whose last album “Portland, OR” has been selling well regionally, will have a new album out soon. It’s titled “Better View.” Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.

Boycott and Pigweed play Ichabod’s North, 1827 N. Division, tonight. Both bands contributed songs to the newly released “Lie Lack City” compilation album, which features 17 Spokane bands. Element 115 is also on the bill. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover wasn’t available at press time. Bring ID.

Local reggae music favorites Raggs and Bush Doktor play Mother’s Pub tonight. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $5. Bring ID.

The third in a series of record release parties for the recently released “Inland Northwest Compilation” CD happens Saturday at Outback Jack’s. Local skull crushers Distorted Silence and Solomon Kane, both of whom appear on the album, will be on stage. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $3.

Attention all clubs/taverns who will be starting billiards/dart leagues in the near future: Please mail or fax us any appropriate information about how to join your league. The fax number is 459-5098; the address Nightwatch, The Spokesman-Review, PO Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.